Japan mulls opening up to business travelers from Taiwan

Japan to discuss end of travel ban with 12 countries, including Taiwan

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Tokyo's Narita Airport during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in April 

Tokyo's Narita Airport during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in April  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Japanese Cabinet meeting on Wednesday (July 22) reportedly discussed the possibility of allowing visits by business travelers from Taiwan and from 11 other countries where the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is slowing down.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo gave the go-ahead for government officials to open talks with the 12 countries in order to discuss bilateral agreements, CNA reported.

In the first phase, the main attention would concentrate on business visitors. In addition to Taiwan, the list of countries submitted to Abe also included China and South Korea, according to media reports.

“Travel bubbles” between countries seen as successful in the fight against the pandemic have been discussed for some time, but the sudden resurgence of the virus in locations such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, and the Australian city of Melbourne has postponed plans for a relaxation of travel bans.

Many countries, including Taiwan, have chosen to boost domestic tourism instead, abandoning hopes that mass tourism might be possible before the end of the year.